Thousands of Emirates staff and pilots reportedly sacked following UAE financial woes after coronavirus crisis

Thousands of Emirates staff and pilots reportedly sacked following UAE financial woes after coronavirus crisis
Thousands of employees working for the UAE's national carrier will lose their jobs, as the company struggles to keep afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
3 min read
09 June, 2020
Thousands of employees will lose their jobs [Getty]
Dubai-based carrier Emirates announced the loss of thousands of jobs on Tuesday, in a move designed to help the airliner recover from a financial crisis caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to reports.

Some 600 pilots and 6,500 cabin crew members have been let go by the airline, The Telegraph reported, noting that sources confirmed that employees were taken in groups to the meetings where they were told the news.

A minority of the national carrier’s 3,000 engineers were also affected by the move, Bloomberg added.

Emirates has been grounded since March, when the global coronavirus pandemic hit the UAE, forcing citizens worldwide to remain at home and cancel all planned holidays and trips abroad.

Last week, the UAE's Emirates Airline said it would have to start laying-off staff, according to a report by Reuters, which cited company sources.

The Dubai-based airline, which has around 60,000 employees, did not say how many of their workers were affected by the decision.

Before the coronavirus crisis limited flight operations, Emirates was flying to 157 destinations in 83 countries.

According to reports, staff who were on probation were notified on Sunday that their contracts would be terminated in June.

The airline has resumed a limited number of passenger flights after suspending must operations at the end of March.

statement published by the Government of Dubai's media office cited an unnamed spokesperson for the company saying that Emirates will "unfortunately have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people" employed.

"The current pandemic has impacted many industries around the world ... we reviewed all possible scenarios in order to sustain our business operations," the spokesperson was quoted as saying,

"The company is doing everything possible to protect jobs wherever we can. Where we are forced to take tough decisions. We will treat people with fairness and respect," Emirates Airline wrote. The airline promised to "look after" impacted employees.

The news saddened some of the airline's customers, who urged Emirates to 'do better' for their employees.

"Very sad to know. In this tough time, a big airlines can do little better for their man power. Hold them, or half pay," one person said. 

"Why can't they provide the number of staff fired?" another questioned.

The New Arab could not reach Emirates Airline for comment in time for publication.

Read also: Emirates airline 'planning to lay off 30,000 staff' after grim financial forecast

On Monday, Emirates President Tim Clark said it may take the airline four more years to rebuild its network, which has taken a hit by the pandemic.

"I think probably by the year 2022/23, 2023/24 we will see things coming back to some degree of normality and Emirates will be operating its network as it was and hopefully as successfully as it was," Clark was quoted by Reuters as saying in a webcast interview.

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